A tale of Two Cons￼
The convention scene in Arizona has been pretty darn good for more than a decade. We all have our favorites and all cons have a little something different to offer fans, for the most part, all conventions were spaced out perfectly so that a fan could conceivably attend all the conventions going on in a given year.
Saboten Con is the largest Anime convention in the Phoenix area and for as long as we can recall, always took place over the Labor day weekend in downtown Phoenix.
Tucson Comic-con, held in Tucson (hence the name) used to run in November before the pandemic but it seems during their downtime they have done a lot of work on strategy and planning. They have a large-scale plan for utilizing more of the beautiful Tucson convention center. If you have ever had the pleasure of going you know that it is an enormous campus with buildings, theaters, and even an arena and it is the intention of the showrunners of TCC to expand into as much of that space as they can. One change that no one saw coming however was that they decided to move their show date to… you guessed it, Labor day weekend, just like Saboten con.
When I first hear this announcement several months ago it didn’t even register as being any sort of issue. Tucson, being just under 2 hours southeast of Phoenix and attracts a relatively different crowd than does Sabo, I never assumed there would be any crossing of streams. But….
I was mistaken.
As the year progressed and September approached I kept hearing more and more. Having covered conventions all over Arizona and the US for several years we have, as you might imagine, made many friends and acquaintances all over the place. Vendors, presenters, artists, photographers, cosplayers, con staffers, and of course fans all of whom seemed to have a serious opinion on the matter. Some were angry at one convention over another because they loved both, some chose between the two because one required masks and the other didn’t. some that attended one every year, but given the opportunity jumped from one to the other.
A conflict of sorts that, as I have mentioned, I didn’t see coming but never the less it seems to be a factor to a lot more people than I’d ever thought. I guess all we can do now is sit back and watch as it unfolds.